Hello all, you may not know me. I’m Matt. How the hell are ya? I am a teacher here in Chicago, and I will be your adjunct music blogger. Y’all are about to learn today.
Today I will be telling you a bit about one of my favorite bands right now, Dehd. This group of three is from Chicago (Go Bears) and they make some real different tunes. They consist of Emily Kempf (vocals and bass), Jason Balla (vocals and guitar) and Eric McGrady (drums): a tour de force of lo-fi riffs, pounding floor toms and snare, driving bass, and some wonderfully strange vocal melodies from Emily and Jason. The band formed as former power couple Emily Kempf and Jason Balla broke up after a long term relationship. Out of this break up came an amazing and unique love album. It’s like Fleetwood Mac except, ya know, completely different in pretty much every conceivable way.
So, in 2019 these three plutonic friends made an album that I’ve been spinning since its release until this day, it’s entitled Water. It has literally not left my record player since the day I got it on, ahem, limited edition vinyl (dusts off Warby Parker frames). Highlights you ask? Here you are boyo (or girlo, or themo):
This album starts with a friggin great track, “Wild”. “Wild” starts off with a rallying cry of wild over a subdued baseline. Then the guitar comes in. I love the guitar riff on this it’s simple but wEiRd. Just alternating between two cords with some weird bendy thing in there (I didn’t go to music college okay, lay off). It’s so simple but RIPS. I love this shit and if you don’t, you’re wrong and I don’t value your opinion. Come at me bro.
Next up is the single off the album, “Lucky”. “Lucky” contains one of the best opening lines in recent memory, “Lucky to find, people in your life with the power to break your heart”. 7th grade me is eating this shit up. Move over Death Cab, this boy is trying to get happy-sad tonight. Lucky is driven by some hammering floor toms and a nifty little guitar line that reminds me of something that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs might vibe to. I must acknowledge the subtle yodeling in this song. One of the reasons I love this band so much is the vocal inflections of their singers and my future best friends, Emily Kempf and Jason Balla. I mean, is she going to bring yodeling back? Who knows? Maybeeee? By the way, the music video is super rad. Check it out.
EDIT FROM MATES: I’ll just do it for you even though my instructions were very clear:
“Wait”. I identify with this song so hard. So what if I just ignore everything and stay out of the loop for my own self-preservation/as an anxiety coping mechanism? Should I change this mindset? Yes. Will I? No. “Once in a while I don’t want to know, Most of the time I’m fine, Living life’s gold with your eyes shut closed sometimes”. Uhhh sign me the heck up. One more part of this song that hits me, is the way that Jason Balla hit’s that “Baby” in the chorus. The half beat pauses between each line followed by the way he provides some more of that vocal inflection on “Baby”. Woof. Inject that shit into my veins bb. Ruin me. I love you.
Here are a few other songs that are really cool, but I was too lazy to go in depth on:
“Sunbeat” has this weird chant at the beginning of it that makes me want to commit crime… but like in a good way.
“Lake” makes me believe that love is not dead and that the Beatles were right all along.
“Long Way Home” probably has the coolest guitar riff of the album. Think “surfer bro in Antarctica”… Yeah, that fucking cool breh. Hang loose and such.
Okay, that’ll just about do it. Bye bye.